Nerd heaven!


There I was, minding my own business, preparing a blog post.   Thought I’d take a break, and popped over to Twitter to see what’s up there… and:

Randall Munroe’s online comic xkcd has a lovely interactive game  today, where you can pilot your ship to explore different planets full of SF/F references. And one of them has a steerswoman!


I cannot express how chuffed I am at this!   I love xkcd, nerdly nerd that I am.   And look, there’s a steerswoman in it! Right there!

Seriously, how cool am I now?

The interactive game is quite complex and varied!  Navigation is tricky, and seems only possible on a computer with a keyboard.  And it’s a bit counter-intuitive, as GRAVITY seems to actually operate.  You can get caught in a gravity well, loop around in orbit of something just out of sight, or spin off into space if you’re not alert.  I ended up in the center of the Sun more than once, and my little ship did not have enough ooph to escape.

I have so far been unable to actually reach the steerswoman’s world… if you manage to get there, let me know how you did it!

(If you get stuck, I think the fastest way to reset is to hit “previous” and go to a previous comic, then hit “next” to get back and start all over.)



13 Responses to “Nerd heaven!”

  • Rosemary Says:

    I want to thank the person who almost certainly is the one responsible for Randall Munroe reading my books — But I don’t have his email, or Twitter handle, and there are so many people with exactly the same name out there… So… Gosh, thanks!

  • Jeff Shannon Says:

    I found it! Here’s the simplest way i can find to get to the Steerswoman planet.

    1. Find the fun
    2. In the debris cloud around the sun, find the guy saying “Oh no, my countertop!”
    3. As if placing a compass down tangential to the circle with the countertop guy at 90 degrees, burn approximately 25 degrees.
    4. Travel for a ways. The next planet you see on the radar should be the planet with the Steerswoman. It is near a bunch of black holes, so the gravity well in this area is strong, that should help finding it.

    Best of luck, wishing you well! Love your books, so excited to see you included in XKCD!

  • Adina Says:

    You can escape the core of the sun by boosting sideways a lot, eventually you achieve escape velocity.

  • David Tate Says:

    I found it eventually, but I couldn’t tell you how. The last two prior stops were the Starship Enterprise and Jurassic Park.

    I also somehow managed to change my space ship from an Apollo capsule to a Buck Rogers sort of ship. Anyone know how?

  • RogerBW Says:

    “Explain XKCD” often carries ancillary information, and in this case lists many of the things to be discovered, including the spaceship changers.

  • David Tate Says:

    I was able to re-discover the spaceship changer that I had used the first time. On the planet where someone is speculating about what the white dots in the sky taste like, Sisyphus is pushing a rock up a hill. At the top of the hill is a white dot. Eating that white dot this time changed me into a stick figure that swims through space (or water).

    • David Tate Says:

      … and I just discovered that the small planet with the Steerswoman has 3 [spoilers] around it. Cool!

  • Rosemary Says:

    Oh, heck, now I MUST find it!

  • Jonathon Says:

    Hi there! I was introduced to your books because of this comic, and have purchased and read them all now! You’ve created a fascinating world and a tantalizing mystery to go with it, and I have very much enjoyed the ride. I run a home game of d&d with a prominent religious group focused on the importance of information being recorded and shared and I am shamelessly incorporating the Steerswoman tradition, including a Path of Redemption paladin NPC based on a certain heroine 😉

  • Anirudh Says:

    I bought the first book (which I’m currently reading) after I saw the XKCD comic. Every word is a joy reading. Wow, how beautifully is it all written!